A Walk in Harlem

Despite my great love of New York City, I still don’t know much about one of its most legendary districts: Harlem. My first visit over there took place in 2003, when I first came to New York City. The trip took half an hour and I was very scared. Not that anything bad happened: I was scared simply because I was in Harlem. I knew it only from the movies I saw, and so I was sure someone was about to point a gun at me. Of course, nothing like that happened, and all the streets looked like typical New York streets, except that there were  hardly any caucasian people around.

Nowadays, Harlem is a very up and coming district. It stretches from 110th street up until 155th street. (Remember this song…? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOg_8hCC4u4 ) Harlem is divided into the Western part (the more interesting one, with many restaurants and new places) and the Eastern one (which is poorer).

It so happened that in January I needed to run a couple of errands in Harlem and I decided to do some exploring. Unfortunately, I ended up in the Eastern part, around 125th street, where after a couple of minutes of walking I felt compelled to put on my hoodie just in case. There was no doubt I was the only blond person around. All the streets from 121st up till 125th along 3rd Avenue looked kind of grim. There wasn’t any sun that day, either. People looked  depressed, except one guy (or was it a girl…?) dressed in  Purple, who started posing for my pictures. In short, my second trip to Harlem wasn’t a success, either. Next time, I’m going to head for the Western part and see the up and coming side of Harlem.